Wednesday, June 22, 2005


The Stanly News & Press: "...John Locke Foundation's ...Center for Local Innovation director Chad Adams outlined Tax Payers Bill of Rights (TABOR), and the modified version some Republican legislators are proposing for North Carolina...

According to Adams, TABOR seeks to halt unessecary tax hikes and government spending without mandated cuts in core services. TABOR is based on using the equation “population plus inflation” as the only basis in budget increases. Any spending increases beyond “population plus inflation” would have to be passed by a vote.

In a pure TABOR system, (i.e. Colorado) any budget increase requires voter approval in a referendum. The TABOR system proposed in North Carolina requires a three-fifths majority in a government vote. The TABOR system mandates that any extra tax money left over is refunded to taxpayers. According to Adams, TABOR is “no spending without taxpayer approval. If North Carolina would have put TABOR in place in 1995, taxpayers would have received $1.4 billion in refunds in the past 10 years,” Adams said. “If you have spending beyond population plus inflation, you have a broken system. If you want a new program, you can cut programs that are inefficient and not doing anything, or you can have a referendum. Special interest groups don’t like it, and education lobbyists don’t like it.”

According to Adams, North Carolina’s tax system was put in place in the 1930s and needs reforms because it is designed for an agricultural instead of a service/technology-based economy. “North Carolina is one of the highest personal income tax states, property tax states and corporate income tax states in the nation because we have been fiscally irresponsible,” Adams said.

Supporters of the North Carolina TABOR proposal include Rep. David Almond, Sen. Smith, and Reps. Galley, Kiser and Brubaker, according to Adams. There are no Democratic supporters of NC TABOR at present.“This shouldn’t be a Democrat and Republican issue, this is a fiscal issue,” Adams said. "

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